Is it true VA loans are easier to get these days?
It's not only true, it seems to be real estate's best kept secret. Guaranteed mortgage loans for veterans are a lot easier to obtain since the Veterans Administration made its procedures more user-friendly a few years ago.
Some key changes in the VA Home Loan Guaranty Program are:
- the seller no longer has to pay points for the buyer; and
- the VA no longer sets interest rates;
- Members of the National Guard and Military Reserve who have served at least 6 years are now eligible for VA financing.
- Loan rates can be negotiated between the lender and veteran, whereas rates used to be set by the government.
- The fee to refinance a VA loan has been lowered from 1.25% of the loan amount to 0.5% (half of 1%).
Also, thanks to a new ruling, VA buyers can now pay their own VA loan fees or points. Before the change, VA points could only be paid by sellers - which meant some sellers were turning away VA borrowers to avoid the extra costs.
The VA loan program can help qualified veterans save money when buying a home because the veteran can buy a home with no down payment and no monthly mortgage insurance. The debt-to-income proportion can be as high as 41%, and up-front costs are lower. Veterans can borrow up to a specific ceiling, and the loan is assumable. Check with your lender for full details.